University Park, Pa. - Mount St. Mary's gave Penn State all it could handle before falling 92-82 on Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions closed the game on an 12-to-2 run to post the win.
Julian Norfleet led the Mountaineers with 22 points and seven assists while Sam Prescott chipped in 18 points in the loss.
Trailing 72-69 with 8:52 remaining, the Mount (3-8) went on a 7-to-2 run to take the lead, 76-74. Rashad Whack started the run with a baseline jumper and Byron Ashe followed with a three-point basket. After a John Johnson lay-up, Prescott's baseline jumper with 6:51 remaining gave the Mount a two-point lead.
The Nittany Lions answered with free throws from Donovan Jack and D.J. Newbill along with a Tim Frazier lay-up to take an 80-76 lead with 5:20 on the clock. The Mountaineers answered again, using a dunk from Taylor Danaher on an inbounds play and a Norfleet bucket to even the score with just under four minutes remaining.
Penn State (9-4) countered with a 12-to-2 run to close the game to earn the victory. Frazier started the spurt with a lay-up, and Ross Travis added back-to-back buckets for an 86-80 lead. Geno Thorpe added a lay-up off a steal to make it 88-80. Whack answered with two free throws, but Penn State was able to hit free throws in the final minute close out the game.
Whack finished with 16 points, four rebounds and three steals with Ashe contributing 14 points off the bench for the Mountaineers.
Johnson scored 20 points off the bench to lead Penn State while Newbill chipped in 18 points and six rebounds. Frazier added 15, Travis 14 and Brandon Taylor 10 in the game for Penn State as well.
The Mount shot 51.9 percent from the field in the game, and was 12-of-26 (.462) from three-point range. Penn State converted 53.2 percent of its shots and was 24-of-30 (.800) at the foul line.
The Mountaineers closed the first half on a 12-to-4 run to take a 46-37 lead at the break. Ashe and Prescott kick started the run with back-to-back three-pointers. A Prescott free throw pushed the lead to eight before a Travis bucket stopped the scoring spurt.
Whack countered with an NBA-distance three-pointer on the fast break, and Norfleet scored on a whirling drive to give the Mount its biggest lead of the half, 46-35. Newbil's bucket made the score 46-37 at the break.
The Mount was hot from long range in the opening half, drilling 9-of-16 (.563) shots from beyond the arc. Overall, the Mount shot 56.7 percent in the half and had eight assists compared to six turnovers.
Ashe and Norfleet led the Mount with 11 points each in the opening half while Prescott chipped in 10 points. Gregory Graves added a team-high six rebounds in the half.
The Mount is back in action on Monday, December 30, at Texas Tech. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.